WANTED – Complete Borgholm gig on DVD

The demand to see Roxette’s complete Borgholm gig(s), recorded on 25th-26th July 1989 is h.u.g.e. There is an evergreen discussion among Roxers since the ’90s and we just can’t conclude what might have happened to the recorded materials.

Collage of some WANTED pictures shared during the flashmob.

The discussion started again during the last days of December when Sandra Knospe came up with the idea to organize a flashmob to show how many of us want the complete Borgholm gig on DVD. The plan was to post one or more screenshots of the live scenes that are already available of the Borgholm shows. The idea was of course supported by tons of us Roxers. Sandra created a cool ”WANTED – Complete Borgholm gig on DVD” background pic on which anyone could insert their own preferred Borgholm live stills. Those who were more into completely ready stuff either reposted others’ pics or posted the well-known What Do We Want meme generated by Zoltán Dúl stating ”Who are we?” ”Roxers!” ”What do we want?” ”The full Borgholm-gig on DVD!” ”When do we want it?” ”For Christmas 2017!” Clear messages on both types of pictures.

We had been waiting impatiently for the time (2nd January) to come when we could all ”spam” Roxette’s Facebook page with our pics. If you check posts by others on the page, you’ll see that quite some Roxers joined the flashmob. We all love such happenings.

Later we got a little spam back from Mr. G. He shared some Memory Lane Monday pics on all the Facebook pages he is handling. At the same time, we could realize he saw the flashmob posts, but all he ”reacted” on them was sharing the old RXB article that collected those live materials which should be released one day, as well as posting the official video to Dangerous with the text ”Summertime at the Borgholm Castle. /P.” Oh. Yeah. THAT’s the summertime we would like to know more about. 😉

3 years ago Per posted on Roxette’s Facebook page that they were ”having discussions with EMI (Warner) about re-releasing all VHS/DVD Rox live + documentaries from the past. How about that? Maybe a huge box set? Rox channel on YouTube? Guess the hardest part is to find the stuff in the vaults….” A week later Mr. G was excited to post another update telling ”Hope to get most of the live VHS & DVD releases from the past out in the open (in top quality) for your insatiable eyes and ears to enjoy. It’s a little messy in the archives at the moment due to the huge EMI/Warner-merger but I’ve got new batteries in my flashlight! We’re on the case, promise.”

To help the team what to look for in the archives, Tomasz collected all possible live performances worth to release in an article.

It seems that the mess still couldn’t be sorted out completely, however, according to the rumor TDR shared there will be a DVD box including ”Sweden Live! (Norrköping 1988), Look Sharp Live (various 1989), Live-Ism (Sydney 1992), Crash!Boom!Live! (Johannesburg 1995) and Room Service (Stockholm 2001) from the Telenor webcast” without extras.

Last June when we interviewed Per, he still couldn’t tell us details about the DVD project. All he could share was his thought that ”the first things that should be made available are all those old live VHS-tapes and DVDs that’s not around anymore”.

Since most people nowadays don’t even have a machine to play VHS, it’s always nice to see old materials being released on DVD. Blu-ray is in this case out of the question, as those old tapes are probably not of real high quality for a BD release. But ”just” re-releasing old stuff is a bit sad. We are sure there is more to include.

Back to the original topic, Borgholm. What happened to the live recordings? Has there ever been a complete recording? Of both Borgholm shows and rehearsals maybe? Or was it just some footage we could already see in this or that video and on Look Sharp Live VHS? Nah… with such technology back then, shot by an American crew it’s impossible. There must have been a complete recording. Or if not complete, there is surely much more than what we could see so far. But where is that material hiding? Deep down in a cellar? Is it lost? Did the tapes get burnt? Or? Just for the record, we are happy with any raw cut material as well. It would look sharp as an extra in the DVD box. 😉 Haha.

Until we find out what happened (hope dies last…), you can still enjoy these videos and keep your fingers crossed: Listen To Your Heart, Dangerous, Paint, Dance Away, Cry, Silver Blue.

P.S.: Borgholm being such an important place in Roxette’s history, we are very happy about the fact that at least Per will play there this summer on his solo tour.

 

Roxette announce 3rd single and video contest

Roxette have announced today that the 3rd single from their latest album, Good Karma will be ”Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers?”. It was no real surprise, since Mr. G already talked about it in the interview we did with him some months ago:

5054197420924_ROX_WHY_WT.indd

Addeboy vs Cliff have just finished a fab uptempo version of ”Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers?”. A song of mine done in Addeboy vs Cliff-style. It will hopefully be released later this year.

So the time has come. Better said, the time will come on 4th November, as the release date is set to that Friday according to Ginza.

But it’s not just a simple single release (on CD and in digital form). Marie and Per ask you to be creative and they give you a chance to appear in the official video to the song. All you have to do is record a 10-20 seconds video of yourself, friends or a situation to where you associate to the song and upload here. You don’t have much time to do that though. The deadline is next Friday, 21st October. For more details you should check out the terms and conditions. Make sure you use #WhyDontYouBringMeFlowers when you upload your video to any social media site.

The winner submissions will be part of the official video. It’s a nice idea. And hey, it means there will be an official video, not just a lyrics video. Does it also mean that besides the parts with the winner clips there will be Marie and Per in the video as well? Good question… Not much time left until we see what happens. Fingers crossed for some really creative clips and a fab end result! Good luck to all participating Roxers!

 

Live Facebook Q&A with Per Gessle

First of all, let us say a huge thank you to Per for providing all of us with this wonderful opportunity of asking any questions. It’s much appreciated by all Roxers. The live Q&A was announced yesterday to make sure everyone prepares their questions for today 4 pm CEST. Many were wondering how the live Q&A would work. Whether it would be a live stream, answering the questions in a live video or using the ”reply to comment” function on Facebook.

PG_live_Q&A_20160607Today some minutes before 4 pm there came a post on Roxette’s Facebook page, hand in hand with a pic of Mr. G sitting on a ball with his MacBook at Hotel Tylösand’s gym.

It’s Q&A time and Per is ready and waiting for your questions! Post your question in the comments below and Per might answer it very soon! Per will stay right here and answer your questions 4 – 5 pm CEST.

By the time Per went live (exactly at 4 pm):

Hello folks. I’m here. Where are you? Let’s get to work! Cheers, /P.

there were already quite some questions, so he started diving into the ocean of Qs and went typing the answers heavily. To make sure they won’t get lost in the darkness of Facebook, we thought to collect them. So here is the set of fan questions and PG’s replies to them (copy-pasted, so excuse us for any grammatical or spelling mistakes). I tried to put them together under different topics. If anyone’s question is missing and Per replied to it, please shout. In case you don’t want your Facebook username to be seen here, please also shout.

Enjoy the reading! Per’s answers are very entertaining and informative, even if you’ll read some ”soon”-s here and there. Haha. And hey, if I count correctly, he replied to 84 Qs in 1 hour! He’s f.a.s.t.!

 

Good Karma – the new album in general

Gabriela Demichelli: Do you expect the album would this big welcome from the fans? all are agree that this is a exelent album….
PG: No, we didn’t. We’re very pleased with the reception. /P.

Ricardo Acosta Hernandez: The more I listen to GK, the more it reminds me of Look sharp! in a way. There’s a lot of that 80’s spirit and the first Roxette steps into creating a new own sound in it. Did you ever feel sort of going back to those glory days while recording this album?
PG: Chris did. He always had this idea we should make LS, part two but in a “modern” version. /P.

Gaby Hildebrandt: In which order did you record the pieces of the songs this time? Beats first, then instruments, then your voice, then Marie’s, then background? Was it the same procedure as with the older albums?
PG: Hi Gaby. We did about 75% of the song before we went to Sthlm and did Marie’s vox. Then we finished everything down south. Most of my vox were done at the T&A paradise as early as possible. Then re-done… /P.

Ivan Fara: Do you think any of the songs from GK might be used in a movie again?
PG: Good idea. But I don’t know. /P.

Salah Ghazal: Are you going to do any signing sessions for Good Karma?
PG: No, doesn’t look like it! Sorry. /P.

 

Good Karma – songs on the new album

Patrícia Peres: ”You Make It Sound So Simple” is a perfect example of what you say pop music about. It’s always about today. Do you remember in what circumstances the lyrics were born?
PG: Not really. I always forget. I’m in a bubble when I write lyrics. But it’s my way of commenting how weird and difficult it is to be a human being in 2016. I think. Yea, this is a strange time we’re living in, don’t you think?

Patrícia Peres: Which track off the album had the most different or funniest title in your Röstmemon app or as a demo when you recorded it?
PG: This One was called “3-chord puke” for a minute. /P.

Ricardo Acosta Hernandez: Why did you pick April for “April Clouds”? For roxers, April will be the def goodbye of Roxette. Actually in “Wish you the best”, September was referenced, and it was another month of Rox goodbye. Sometimes I get a shiver in your lyrics.
PG: No reason. It became an April-song. /P.

Alexandra Neitzel: I wonder how Marie reacted to the lyrics you presented her to sing. Especially those to From a Distance. I picture her deeply touched by the strength and courage inherent in those words, sad and brave at the same time.
PG: Marie’s pretty fussy when it comes to lyrics. She liked them a lot. I’m happy as a lark. /P.

Tanja Swe: I was wondering if you could tell us on how the lyrics to the song “Why don’t you bring me flowers” came up and if there’s any personal story connected to it?
PG: I wrote those lyrics to another piece of music that we didn’t use. They’ve got a nice vibe which I like. /P.

Chrissie Roehrs: I wonder if the similar sounding “Intenting av vad du behöver”-notes in “April Clouds” are accidentally or on purpose? That once was the first song you ever recorded with Marie and now it is the last song on the album Sorry, my fan-brain might be too emotional right now. I just hope there will be more Roxsongs in the future.
PG: Oh I never thought about that. But you’re right. They’re similar. It’s Clarence who played the piano parts on AC, he probably hanve’t heard IAVDB. He never said anything. /P.

Jirí Vlcek: It Just Happens and Some Other Summer were first recorded songs. Which were last recorded?
PG: The last one was AvsC’s version of From A Distance. /P.

 

Good Karma – the demos

Sandra Knospe: You mentioned in the TDR Interview that your demos to the songs on GK are pretty advanced compared to the ones in the years before GK. Why the change already in the demo process? Any chance that they will be released in a Deluxe Version of the album or at least digital? Would be highly interesting to compare with the final songs or even other demos.
PG: Hi Sandra, when you’re trying to produce and album like GK you have to have a focus on the production as well as the songs asap. “Normally” thses days, I decide all those things in the studio. But it didn’t really work on GK.

Gyöngyvér Simon: Do you consider releasing the demos of Good Karma? Would be very interesting to hear them!
PG: No plans right now, mr G! /P.

Pablo César Riquelme Muñoz: Are you considering a Deluxe or a expanded version of Good Karma including remixes, demos and rarities?
PG: Wow. Don’t know. But yes, things will pop up. /P.

Mario Rembold: Will we here the demos of GK-Album? I am very curious how those songs evolved and how the early fragments from Addeboy vs. Cliff sounded.
PG: Maybe. Not for the moment, though. /P.

Melancholodic: Is there a Version of the “Good Karma”-Song with the Addeboy vs. Cliff-Backingtrack? Will we hear it one day?
PG: No, just their very first demo which isn’t really a demo. It’s more like a groove with different bassnotes… There is an acoustic demno made by me at T&A however…/P.

 

Good Karma – singles off the new album

Lionel Zeta: It Just Happens was only digital release. Will be the S.O.S ep release physically? Please!
PG: Yes, CD single release very SOON! Incl four really cool remixes. How about that? /P.

Sandra Knospe: Is the EP for “Some Other Summer“ planned as a digital release only or will it be released physically, too? If the remixes are supposed to be played on the turn tables then it should.
PG: CD-single. No vinyl this time. /P.

Basia Konarzewska: Would you let your fans decide (eg via a poll) which song out of GK is released as a next single?
PG: No. But I listen to what you say. /P.

Trent Coxhell: Any chance of “why don’t ya”. Being a single.
PG: Next one is S.O.S. Time will tell. /P.

 

Good Karma – the vinyl

Chrissie Roehrs: Are we allowed to know what this ghost track on the vinyl is about? I think I recognize at least Marie’s voice. Is this something backwards? If so, what? Or which Beatles song do I have to check? Pleeeaase tell us more about it.
PG: Well. It’s not Marie. /P.

Sandra Knospe: Looks like you pulled all the stops on the vinyl. Hidden track, hidden engraved message as well. Speaking of the “welcome to sing sing“ engraving – who came up with it and what’s the story behind? And same Q goes for the track on the end of the vinyl.
PG: Can’t tell you. Sorry. /P.

 

Songs / demos from the past

Cristian Dario Brizuela: You dont undertand me was recorded in spanish as far as we know. Is it true? Will we hear that version some day?
PG: Yes, it’s there in the vaults. Forgot about that. Maybe we should use it? Thanx for reminding me! /P.

Alexandru S. Banciu: Salvation video looks close PERfection. I always wondered if there’s a meaning behind the scene where you and Marie hold a salad, some fish and a pumpkin.
PG: No, I think Anton C was getting hungry! /P.

Melanie Pfeffer: Looking back on the past 30 years, is there any song you now wish you had released as a single? Or one you wished you hadn’t? #CrushOnYou
PG: No, not really. Some of my fave Rox-songs were never rel as singles. Breathe, What’s She Like? I’m Sorry. It’s fine. /P.

Rodney Lin: Are there any Marie demos of songs that got released by you singing the lead instead? As you mentioned that sometimes a song does not suit Marie? It would be interesting to hear her version if there are any?
PG: Yes, there are. We have quite a few Rox demos lying around. We might release them one day. Nerd alert! /P:

Wilker M. Chaves: Why didnt Roxette never play Vulnerable live? Why I dont want to get hurt didnt get a vídeo? Do you know how many copies Roxette sold só far? Research on the internet always says 75 million but this info has almost 10 years. Congratz for GK and hope you bring your solo work to Brazil I believe u will keep doing good music.
PG: Hi Wilk. Tuff q’s. Vulnerable was always hard to get right live. We rehearsed it many times but let it go after a while. IDWTGH was never rel as a single. No single=no video. Even in the 90’s! Sold records: I dunno. It doesn’t mean that much anymore. /P.

 

Future projects

Sandra Knospe: In one of the lyric books that were released together with TPGA you mentioned that, at that time, you were working on a song called “Piece Of Cake“. Already back then I wondered if it would pop up as a Rox track on a future album. It obviously didn’t. What happened to that song?
PG: We’ve finished that one. It’s kinda nice. /P.

Basia Konarzewska: Do you think about writing a song with Åsa or Gabriel again?
PG: Hahaha. No. /P.

Heartland Anne: Have you considered making a solo album in English soon again?
PG: No. /P.

Kerstin Lautwein: Habe you plant a Solo Tour? We were in Gent 2009 a little Konzert, but ohne of the Best for me…greetings from Germany! And Good Karma is Top!!!
PG: Keine ahnung! /P.

Maria Besedina: Are you going to go on solo tour in Sweden or abroad? What about Tylosand? I saw a great open-air venue there………….
PG: Not this year, no. /P.

Peter Pedersen: Will you continue working with the new producers on future projects? Also loved your work with Heikki L, you should continue in this direction. Avicii feat Gessle would be a dream!! Any solo projects coming in the near future? Hope so. Gessle solo feat MF on vocals could be the future of Roxette.
PG: Yea, I’m more open to collaboration than I was. Time will tell what I’m gonna do. /P.

Markus Behrens: Back in the day you mentioned that there are some left-overs, any plan already what to do with those?
PG: No, not really. We might use them one way or another. You can easily live without them…. /P.

Barry Mieny: Can we keep our fingers crossed for either The Per Gessle Archives Volume 2 or The Roxette Archives box sets, or another Roxette Diaries any time in the future?
PG: Things will pop up, for sure. /P.

Bradley Coverley: Just wondering if you ever plan on releasing the Roxette demos that Marie has sung in also maybe a digital release of the PGA vol. 5, it would also be good to have those few demos of “you turn me on” “I’m under your magic spell” “never is a long time” “from head to toe” that would be awesome.
PG: Could be down the line. No plans, though. /P.

Mayte Peva: Can we expect another son of a plumber album?
PG: No, don’t think so. /P.

Caroline Wiltz: Will Roxette record more albums?
PG: Don’t know. /P.

Lydia Gerber: Will you release more photos from your latest photoshooting?
PG: Yes. /P.

Malgorzata ‘goswiek’ Puterman: Is Gabriel singing? Any plans to sing together: father and son?
PG: No plans. /P.

Malgorzata ‘goswiek’ Puterman: Any chance of solo tour like Gessle over Europe again?
PG: Could be down the road. But not now. /P.

 

Songwriting / production / releasing in general

Nicolette Daemen: Can you explain how you do it? You write a text for a new song, but how do you get the melody? And how does it all come together? The text, melody, your and Marie’s voices and all the instruments? I think it’s verry difficult and I always wonder how you do this.
PG: Yea, well, it is kinda difficult to get everything together. I only work and write when I have a proper idea I want to explore. I don’t really know how it works. But it does….. /P.

Anna Gradowska: You once said you often have a song idea in your head, that you have to put down (or record it) somewhere not to get it lost-Is this the usual ways new songs originate? Or put another way-where do you get all the great ideas for the songs? With every new album containing some all time gems I’m asking myself this? it almost seems you have an endless potential!
PG: I dunno. I function like that. Antennas out, always looking for ideas, titles, melodies, words, coffee. That’s me. /P.

Mario Rembold: What I like a lot: Somehow your albums of the last decade (Rox+Solo+Gyllene) sound much more authentic and relaxed. And they all sound more like “real” albums with songs belonging together (not just collections of different songs). Those records all sound very inspired. A pleasure to listen. But what’s the reason? Did your change your way of writing somewhere after the 90s? Or is it more a thing with productions and arrangements?
PG: I think the main reason for that change is that Christoffer Lundquist came into my musical life and the studio. But also the urge for change altogether. It would have been very boring to make the same album over and over again. /P.

Jennifer Melnychuk: Is it more or less stressful releasing new material today then 25 years ago?
PG: Less. Like with most things in life you know what you want and what you can achieve when you get older. It’s harder to know when you’re younger. /P.

Estela Costa: How do you decide what song each one of you will sing?
PG: Most Rox songs I write for Marie. If I am, for some reason, gonna sing it I might re-write it to get another “angle”. We try things out all the time. /P.

Florian Leingartner: How many Songs did you written in your career?
PG: Oh, I dunno. A thousand finished ones, maybe? /P.

 

XXX tour / Live performances

Daniel Rezmann: Are there plans to release any live recordings from the XXX tour? I’m thinking of songs like Crush on You and Almost Unreal that were not played during the 2011-12 tour which many fans would love a decent recording of.
PG: No plans, but we have recorded all shows. /P.

Basia Konarzewska: Do you plan any more releases this year? If so, what can we expect – live recording of any XXX- tour recording, maybe? or one of the old concert recordings release on DVD?
PG: More singles. The tour book. New t-shirts. I think that’s it. /P.

Ivelina Delcheva: Now after Good Karma is out and it is an amazing Masterpiece, do you plan a performance somewhere? I don’t mean a big tour but something smaller, probably in Sweden? And if not when to expect something from you personally, I mean an album, song or concert?
PG: No, no plans. /P.

Andreas Gessle Christodoulou: Is there possible a second return for Marie and maybe a tour around Sweden?
PG: No, I don’t think so. /P.

Zoltán Dúl: Will there be a farewell concert?
PG: No, it doesn’t look like it! /P.

Trent Coxhell: I realise Marie is no longer up to travelling to Australia, but is there any chance u could come still?
PG: Yea, it’s a shame Marie won’t tour anymore. Time will tell what’s gonna happen with me. I love to perform and play my music for you guys so I might do somthing in the future.

Eduardo Bentes: Can you tell us about a possible re-release of all live concerts, since 1988? Best wishes.
PG: Yes, we’re actually looking into all the live concerts and might hopefully get something together and release them (in a box?) one of these years! It’s a good idea! /P.

Michelle Hennekes: Will the last dvd and the new photobook be available in the Netherlands? And even better the book with Dutch or English text?
PG: Yea, the new tour book (which, btw, is really good-looking) will be available through, for instance, Amazon everywhere. /P.

Michael McGuire: Being that you are at a new chapter in your lives / career, will there be any “Roxette” shows that are not per say from touring but possible select intimate show(s) that could be recorded and released via DVD? This way, Marie isn’t using too much strain on her body and isn’t “traveling” everywhere. Thoughts?
PG: I don’t think so, no. /P.

Juan Jose De Oliveira: If roxette had continued the tour, how many songs including in good karma álbum, you`d included in a recital song list.
PG: None. Marie has a hard time learning new lyrics so the GK songs were never intended to be played live. /P:

Martín Darío Benitez: Is it possible an acustic show with Marie in the future or all live acts are over forever?
PG: No, I think it’s over performing with her. /P.

Salah Ghazal: You have some much energy on stage. How do you keep so fit?
PG: Fighting with the budgie. /P.

 

Roxette Museum

Michi Seeber: Have you ever thought about to make a roxette museum, bigger than the lifes lounge, where the hole day are playing the videos or songs..where also fans could bring their special memories?
PG: No, we haven’t. But there are so much stuff it’s definitely worth considering. /P.

Heartland Anne: I’ve heard rumors you have kept all the stage clothes of you and Marie. When do we finally get to see them, and smell them? Lol ok forget the smelling.
PG: Yep, we kept most of them. Don’t know what to do with them though…. /P.

 

Other artists / other artists’ songs, performances / tribute bands

Sandra Knospe: In one of your latest interviews you said „Songs can make you cry. Statues can’t, unless they drop on your foot.“ Can you remember which was the last song that moved you to tears? And what for? Beautiful lyrics, voice or melody?
PG: If it be your will by Leonard Cohen. /P.

Bas Pijnacker: Which is your favourite Marie solo album and why?
PG: Oh I don’t know. I’ve only heard bits and pieces. I really like some of her biggest songs, like Sjunde vågen och I en tid som vår. /P.

Luiz Fernando Scarpari Gimenez: Have you been in some Adele’s concert? What do you think about her music?
PG: I have. She’s an amazing singer. /P.

Miriam Korruptor: Who is your favourite artist right now?
PG:  I like the sound of “1975”. I wish they had better songs, though…. /P.

Salah Ghazal: Do you like any music by Michael Jackson?
PG: Yes, of course. Billie Jean still stands out. /P.

Lars Schneider: What are your thoughts about so called Tribute bands, that travels around playing songs from only 1 artist? And do you know how many Roxette Tribute-bands that exists?
PG: It’s fine with me. I don’t know how many Rox bands there are. Do you? /P.

 

Fun and retirement (which is not fun)

Olle Rydqvist: Is you was a butterflie, wich colours would you have?
PG: Ferrari red. /P.

Olle Rydqvist: If you had to pick one old haircut you had. Wich one would you pick?
PG: The one I’m having now. Easy does it! /P.

Salah Ghazal: Have you got a retirement age set or is there no plans to retire?
PG: Retire? Me? Hmmppfff. /P.

Oscar Ramirez: Are you aware of the fact that most heavy metal fans around the world also love Roxette? (Myself included).
PG: Badabam! /P.

 

Radio

Kia Engvall: Blir det något mer Gessle nio-i-topp?
PG: Maybe. We’re talking about it! /P.

 

No Qs, just thank you

Niekie Bushby: Hey Per, no question – just wanted to personally tell you (and please tell Marie as well) that my friends and I really enjoyed your show in Johannesburg on 31 January this year. It was my first live show and I am saddened by the fact that I missed out on a ‘real’ show due to Marie’s illness. I wish I saw a Roxette show years ago when you were both younger – heard it was quite an experience. Keep well and thanks for the joyride!
PG: Cheers. /P.

Ramon Luz: I just wanna say several “thank you’s”, ’cause you and Marie have been helping me from overseas with your tunes in the last years. Muito obrigado! (That’s what we say here in Brazil). Each song fills me with joy and hope.
PG: Thanx Ramon, apprceiate this!!! /P.

 

F1

Irina Lamp: What a pleasure i’m sitting and enjoy the sun Do you want to drive to the formel-1-race i germany the next time?
PG: can’t make it. Sorry. /P.

Evgenia Yakovchuk: Imagine that right now U’re flying on a plane where would I like to fly?
PG: Canada for the F1 race next weekend! /P.

 

Hotel Tylösand

Manuel Moreno: When I have gone to Tylösand Hotel with my family I was like a crazy fan recording and making photos to all Leif’s Lounge. Thanks to these, the waiters never let us pay a coffee. Thank you for those cups of coffee.
PG: What? They’re gonna get sacked!!! No, I’m plaesed you like the place. It’s kinda cool. Come back and have another cup! /P.

 

Other

Kathie Winn: If you could meet up with a very young Per Gessle, what would you tell your younger self?
PG: Good q, Kathie! I dunno, I’ve been very lucky in my life. I’ve told myself to stay true to my ideals and follow my gut feeling!

Rumen Manolov: How can an artist with a long history (such as you) please the critics? If you stick to your classical sound, then you’re repeating yourself (according to critics). If you do something new and different, then you’re trying to hard to be modern (according to them). Is it possible to surpass such criticism?

PG: No, it’s tricky. That’s why you never read them or take them seriously. It’s all down to your own taste and what you want to do with your career. /P.

Joan Frank: Would you change anything or do anything differently over the last 30 years to what you know now?
PG: There’s always things you could have done differently. Like working harder on the US market in the mid 90’s. On the other hand, Marie had a small child at the time so we concentrated on the rest of the world. Right or wrong? Who knows! /P.

Basia Konarzewska: How do you decide on purchasing a new guitar? Do you search for a special one sometimes, like those belonging to other master guitar players?
PG: I very rarely buy new guitars these days. I don’t need them. If something pops up I’m interested in, like some old Gibson Trini Lopez, I might take a look. /P.

Gyöngyvér Simon: What is your favourite holiday destination you can recommend as a “must-visit”?
PG: There are so many places to visit in the world. Right now I’m into Europe. Italy is always nice. If you’re hungry. /P.

Rumen Manolov: Do you and Marie realise how many people really really like you you do (and did in the past) and how much positive energy they send and receive? How can you live with all this love surrounding you?
PG: Hi Rumen, it’s sometimes hard to take in. We’re very proud of what we’ve done and equally proud of all you fans who made everything possible. Cheers, P.

 

The session ended at 5:03 pm with Mr. G sending lots of love:

Dear All Of You! Gotta go, have a few interviews with South America coming up. Have a fab summer + see y’all down the road somewhere!!!! Lots of love from P.

We certainly loved reading all the interesting, not so typical questions and we’re sure Per loved answering them, too. He should do such Q&As more often, shouldn’t he? Fingers crossed for more sessions like this in the future! Thank you for all your time and kindness, Per! Much appreciated!

 

New exclusive photo book – RoXXXette On The Road

Roxette’s tour photo book we’ve been looking very much forward to is now already listed at Bokus and Adlibris. It will surely be available at other distributors as well, hopefully worldwide. So eXXXciting! Release date is 16th June.

RoXXXette On The RoadThe title is RoXXXette On The Road. According to Bokus and Adlibris, the book consists of 320 pages and it’s in English. It’s full of wonderful pics taken by master photographer Anders Roos on Roxette’s XXX tour and it also includes 41 reflections by our very own Per Gessle. The cover shows a photo of Marie and Per performing in front of a beautiful crowd on the steps at the Sydney Opera House in February 2015.

This is what Per said about the tour book project back then:

XXX ROXETTE WORLD TOUR BOOK info:

Yep, the plan is to have Anders Roos onboard in the studio, in green rooms, backstage, on stage, on trains, planes and in fast lanes just to document the real vibe around the Dynamic Duo and our fab entourage. Which we consider you to be part of!!!

Anders, as you might know, took the pix in the Gyllene Tider-book 2013. He’s a very nice guy, don’t be shy if you’ll spot him with his camera in the alleyways next to your seat! He might take your picture!

This is what the description of the book says, found on Bokus and Adlibris [translated from Swedish by PP]:

New exclusive photo book

”RoXXXette On The Road”

In the spring of 1986 a small hobby band was formed by two friends who had talked long enough about doing something together alongside their ordinary careers in Sweden.

30 years later, we follow the same band’s anniversary tour in the book “RoXXXette On The Road”, where Roxette’s songwriter engine Per Gessle adds his own reflections, flashbacks and anecdotes while photographer Anders Roos’s snapshots capture a global and apparently indestructible Swedish music phenomenon on tour.

The result is a unique opportunity to follow the group in the front row during their 30th anniversary celebration along with tens of thousands of fans night after night, both in Europe and on the other side of the globe.

The contrast to how it once started could hardly be greater. When Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle recorded their debut single “Neverending Love” under the name Roxette, they had certainly set their sights on trying to reach out internationally, but in practice, they knew that the chances were slim.

Roxette started at a time when Swedish pop music rarely managed to get outside Scandinavia, with Abba as the biggest exception to the rule. At best, they might reach out to the Scandinavian countries and Germany, but hardly to trendsetting pop countries as England and the United States.

Music without borders

But Roxette became at least as big exception to the rule. With their global breakthrough in 1989, with their unprecedented success, the group registered themselves both in Swedish and international music history, while also paving the way for what in the ‘90s was called “the Swedish music miracle”.

But despite all the talented artists and songwriters who have come from Sweden since then, no one has managed to repeat Roxette’s success, especially considering that the band both on stage and records have managed to touch several generations all over the world with their music. It is simply because Roxette’s greatest songs – and here we are talking about more than 30 hits – know no borders.

Or as Per Gessle writes in the book:

“Roxette has always been a live band. I feel quite safe and psyched in the studio, but Marie is definitely born to be on stage. During our first recordings, I was always surprised when she agreed to do a second or third recording of the song. She preferred to put in all at once, as if she was on stage. Her vocals to “Dressed For Success” were basically recorded directly during one utterly brilliant recording. Like “Soul Deep”. And “Cry.” The list goes on and on.”

Join the trip

With nearly 300 images on as many pages “RoXXXette on the road” takes the reader on a tour to Australia, where Roxette among other places performed with the mighty Sydney Opera House as their background.

We get backstage passes that take us all the way from inside the airplane, into the dressing rooms during the preparations before the concerts and to the very front of the edge of the stage where the musicians are pumping out songs like “The Look”, “Listen To Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love” and “Joyride” in front of an ecstatic crowd.

Good Karma

Furthermore, we get unique insights from the recordings of Roxette’s tenth studio album, “Good Karma” in the isolated studio, “Aerosol Grey Machine” in Österlen, Skåne.

In short, “RoXXXette on the road” is the backstage pass you always wanted to have, either you belong to the global gang of dedicated “roxers” who follow the group around the world or just curious about how daily life might look for a band that 30 years ago decided to see how far they could get. Part of the answer is here.

 

Roxette Diaries – a review!

roxette_diaries
Photo: Nico Radoi

Today was the day – time to watch the Roxette diaries. Yes, the film is out for a while now, but I didn’t bother to watch it any earlier since I had ordered the wrong version without English subtitles and I really didn’t want to watch it without them. Waking up today I decided to give it a try. My Swedish is not the best, but I learned enough from Per, Marie and Kent that I can at least read it very good. So I switched on the Swedish subtitles and the fun began.

It took me two and a half minutes to get into tour mood again. There are two simple reasons for me: There’s a very special energy between Per and Marie in the beginning and it lasts until 1993, I think. It feels very special to watch both of them interact. You can feel in every scene how much fun they had in the 80’s and in the early 90’s. They just did what they know best: music. And they had fun together, all of them. And this is maybe what most fans search or long for the most: They want to be sure that their favourite band is nothing but a big family, having fun together, on and off stage, create great music and conquer the world. Yes – this movie transports this feeling very well. At least the first hour. The whole band is just easygoing, lighthearted, happy, untroubled. My heart leapt watching this! And I remembered how much I love them – and we have a silver wedding this year. It’s been 25 years of unconditional love of my part this year. Can this be called the love of my life then?

The second reason why I suddenly can’t wait for June to roll on: I suddenly remembered that they still have an awful lot to give. They are not finished yet. Seven years have been stolen off them. Seven years of nothingness and yet seven years time to heal a strained friendship. I need to see more of this healed relationship between them. It has never been nicer to watch them on stage together.

And what I implied here I honestly mean: While in the beginning Marie and Per seem to be a unit, they certainly are no longer from 1993 on. Of course, this can be due to the cutting of the film, but did anyone else notice that Marie is almost not to be seen in the last 30 minutes of the film?

There’s one scene at the end where someone asks (is it Per?): “Where is Marie?” right before a performance. Yes, folks, I wondered the same. Where was she? And someone else in the film replies: “Ingen aning.” No idea. I had no clue either.

What we all knew to be true suddenly becomes real – yes, their friendship turned from friendship to business somewhen between 1992 and 1993. There’s no way to deny it. There’s no more fun around. And this is the shocking part of the diaries: Interviews, travelling, TV shows, promotion, concerts – there’s a 90 minute development of wearout to witness. It almost broke my heart to watch this. Smiles got less, fun got less, friendship almost not detectable.

But thinking about the recent years they gave to us, I can only say: We are the luckiest fans in the world. I don’t know how they did it, maybe it’s just the happiness, the gratefulness to have survived this bad illness Marie had, but they certainly overcame their problems and enjoy their time together again. And it’s something different now, when Marie isn’t doing interviews or doing all the other promo crap stuff that comes with being a pop star. We all do understand it and maybe we even understand it more when we know now what it did to them in the early 90’s.

Yet, this is a brilliant movie and my only criticism would be that there were too many concert parts at the end. I would have loved to see more of the Tourism and Crash!Boom!Bang! recordings. Maybe we get to see the rest of it soon. Per’s “soon” would suffice here, though. And I would also love to see the 2009-2016 footage. You know why – just to get me in the tour mood again and again and make me fall in love with them again and again. Nothing and nobody compares to Marie and Per.

Roxers’ favourite Roxette studio album covers

Some days ago we asked you to list your Top3 favourite Roxette studio album covers. We got a lot of comments and after the collage had been shared both on Roxette’s official Facebook page and Instagram account, there were even more votes. It seemed to be obvious which covers would end up at the Top3 positions, but I was curious about the exact results. It’s of course not a representative sample, but who else could judge Roxette’s album covers better than Roxers?

After checking all the comments, I counted the votes / mentions and found out the Top2 were indeed quite obvious. Most people voted for Joyride and Look Sharp!. I would say the difference between the number of votes is so tiny, the 2 covers are equally strong. The third position is occupied by Crash! Boom! Bang!, but Tourism was very close to become the third as well. The difference is quite small here, too. The 5th best cover according to Roxers is that of Room Service.

The remaining 4 covers are well behind any of those in the Top5. No surprise poor Travelling (which was released 4 years ago today, by the way) is at the end of the list. I remember how excited we all were about the new album in 2011 and 2012 and when the cover was shared on Facebook, tons of us first thought it was a joke and that it couldn’t be the final design. Not that it wasn’t funny to see BoJo on the sleeve, but… ehm… Then we decided, OK if the content is awesome, we don’t really care about the cover. The songs turned out to be fab, so the sin made with the album cover was forgiven, so to say.

We like busy covers only if there is a real concept behind them (see Tourism) and we love professional, artistic photos of Marie and Per on the sleeve. We are not into weird Photoshop attempts (see Travelling) and busy covers with seemingly no concept behind them (see Charm School). Don’t get us wrong, we love seeing such non-pro pics, but it works much better on social media sites or in books than on album covers.

These days when music is consumed rather digitally, it might be even more important to have a great cover to catch the attention of those who still go and buy CDs at record shops. Come to think of it, even for digital use it is important to have a good-looking sleeve. At least I prefer seeing a clear, eye-catching cover pic on Spotify and similar sites when I listen to music either on computer or on my smartphone.

So anyone in charge of the upcoming album cover design, please make an attractive one! Now you can see which directions Roxers prefer. 😉

 

Roxette_studio_album_covers

 

A (very personal) look back on 14 days and (almost) ten concerts

CJ9ZLg5WcAA7o39.jpg large
Done without selfie stick: Kirsten Ohlwein

A week has gone since my last Roxette show (ever?) in Vienna. I tend to think it was my last Roxette show ever, but I am always open for a pleasant surprise, of course. Why I do think that this is it? The final countdown, the last tour ever? Yes, just because of Marie’s condition. I know very well that she is a warrior, the greatest warrior I know. Maybe, but maybe, just maybe, all of this is too much to fight for. I don’t know. I posted a very long text about her and my perception of her condition in another article (there’s an English translation at the bottom of the text). I don’t want to go in too much detail here now. It’s only part of my thoughts and I already have put them in words, so I try to move on from it. But yes, it felt a bit like a farewell to a long long dream for me.

So, my last show was in Vienna, Wednesday, July 8th, 2015. Unfortunately, the tour stress had totally exhausted me which forced me to leave my place in the third row during “Spending my time” already and got me to a spot on the side of the stage. Suddenly I couldn’t handle all the people around me anymore, it was too loud, too crowded, just too much. I had wished for a better ending to this whole touring experience as I have never done it this extensively (10 shows in 14 days). It wasn’t meant to be and so I stood at the very far end of the stage, held a mug with water in one hand and my jacket in the other and watched Marie trying to deliver her notes.

I joined the tour with the start of the German leg of the European part of the tour. Roxette had been on tour already six weeks. The first European show in Milan I had attended, yes, but after that, as said, six weeks break. So, I came to see the concert in Cologne and joined all the travelling until Vienna.

What’s left to say? It was a very intense, very confusing, very life-changing experience. Apart from the concerts I realized that I am actually really too old to queue the whole day in front of the venue in 36°C, even though we could mostly sit in the shadow. My body doesn’t want to be in the heat for several hours, then get tense when it’s close to inlet and then run for a minute and then relax, just to tense again when it realizes that air is practically not existing inside the venue. At least my body doesn’t want that several times a week and that’s probably what it showed me in Vienna.

I realized that I am also too old to stand in front of hotels and airports and waiting for the right moment to ask for a photo. This moment never comes. Every fan is so dependent on the mood of her star, so was I. Fortunately, with Roxette, I adore a band who always took their time and mostly never have a bad mood or when they don’t show it their fans, at least there was only one occasion I witnessed it.

I also realized that I might be too old to adore people who don’t even know me. I started to ask myself what I actually expect when I meet them? I wrote in my other post that it’s the feeling of breathing the same air for some moments. This might be it. I don’t know. I know it’s different when it comes to Marie. Since her illness all I ever wanted was to show her my support in every situation possible. There were many times when she gave back so much, thanked for our support or even begged for more. Moments I can hardly forget or ignore. It stopped this year. For me and for her. She doesn’t notice or doesn’t want to notice her fans anymore and it’s finally time to step back for me. Concerts: Yes. Anything else: No.

So, yes, I’d do it all over again, travel miles and miles and never stop, I would, but my reasons have drastically changed. Still, there is this “have to support Marie” thing, it’s very strong, it can’t be abandoned easily. Then there is the other reason that got stronger and stronger during my journey: Meet other Roxers, laugh together, wait together, sing together, enjoy time together. I am so happy that I met so many nice people, maybe this was the most important thing for me during this trip. I finally remembered why they all are so special, even those who I thought wouldn’t speak a word with me anymore. I really really loved that. In the end we’re on this ship together and when it’s time to wave the white flag, whenever that is, we have to do it together somehow anyway.

I am trying to point out some of my personal highlights of the ten shows I saw now:

The best Roxette show I ever saw was the one in Berlin. This was another topic I wrote something about it, unfortunately it’s in German only so far, sorry for that. This was a magical night, moments that can’t and won’t be forgotten. The audience maybe wasn’t the loudest, but the most empathic. It took over when Marie forgot the lyrics and from that moment on everything could happen and it did. I am happy I was there. I could feel the love floating around from the stage to the audience and back. It was the one perfect night.

The best local song Christoffer played was probably “An der Nordseeküste” in Hamburg. It worked surprisingly well regarding the fact that this isn’t a German song in origin. The audience sang even louder than the people in Cologne who got their very own anthem “Viva Colonia”. For Non-Germans: “Viva Colonia” is T-H-E song in Cologne and even in parts of Germany. So I really wondered why it didn’t work THAT good this time. The funniest moment was most certainly Christoffer’s attempt to play Helene Fischer’s “Atemlos” which was probably the most played German song in 2014 and 2015 (just guessing).

I loved that Per shared our “bring us some water or ice” photo from Stuttgart. We had so much fun that day and it made us smile despite the heat. Unfortunately, we never got the ice or the water (just kidding, of course).  Being a Roxer for 24 years you very well realize how special it is to communicate with your star in such a direct way. You post a photo, you know for sure that he sees it and when he shares or likes you are in heaven for some hours. Yes, that’s how it works. Praise the internet!

I also won’t forget the very messed up inlets in many many German cities, almost all of them. Gates that get less and less, although people are already queuing, scanners not working, security staff who don’t know how to mark a ticket, entrances that get closed completely ten minutes before the doors open, security staff telling you you are not allowed to sit down, because it’s too dangerous, others not telling you where you have to run – it was a mess, really. After three shows we joked about founding a consulting agency for security companies. They know so little, they do want to know so little – it can make you really angry. Worst are those who keep the guitar picks for themselves, by the way.

But let’s get back to the positive things. One of them: The amazing setlist Per Gessle put up. What a trick to end the show with “The Look”. What a great idea to bring “How do you do” back as standalone song again. People always have loved “How do you do” so much and it worked so very well at every single show I have been to. This was most often THE party crasher and people were not to stop from that point on. Yes, the audience expects the hits, the great number ones and the singles – it’s true and I can live with it, but after my last show I joked that I really don’t want to hear “Joyride” again so soon and that I am actually happy that I could keep myself busy with the balloons rather than singing. It’s a pity, of course, that I never applauded the band during the band presentation because I was so busy with getting the balloons ready. I still love the balloon thing very much.

We also had a talk about the stuff the fans do during the show and another fan had a very new thought: That we fans are part of the show as well. We do the balloon thing, we clap in moments non-fans don’t know (you know which songs I mean, Dangerous (attracted to go-go deeper tonight), The Look (head drum)), we try to sing “How do you do” on our own after the first riff and get the rest of the audience to join (it never worked until today, of course). Yes, there might be something to it. I had so much fun with all of this!

The general audiences really surprised me, though. I cannot count the times I heard people singing “The Look” while leaving the venue. One sang the verse, others joined in with the “Na na na na nas”. They were full of love for the band and didn’t hesitate to show. This felt much different during the last tour in 2011 and even more different during the Room Service tour 2001. Which brings me to my next point: This band loves to play, loves to be on stage, to play live, to improvise a bit, to make music together. You can see it every second they are on stage, even on their tired days. And this transports so much that people can’t help but join in. It might be compassion, farewell or memories bringing them to the shows, but they leave with different feelings: admiration for the band, the love for music and the will to definitely buy a new Roxette album. This band is so rocky. I heard that on the radio one morning: Roxette came as a pop-rock band to the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, but left as a rock-pop band. What a compliment for a band that earned so many bad reviews for their bubblegum music back in the 90’s!

So, what’s left after my last show in Vienna?

There’s a lot of good memories, some bad memories, decisions I made, a heart that’s still full of love for these people who accompany me for 24 years, a wish for another tour at least in North America so that I finally have a reason to go to New York (and I already have made appointments there with fellow Roxers, I didn’t forget that, Basia, Mareike and Mariana), and a deep deep longing which stands over it all that certain conditions get better again, the deep hope that something or someone can stop what we unfortunately witnessed this year and really don’t want to see and to see happen at all. The one topic we never talk about much. And then there’s the will to go on tour like this forever and that time just stands still, please.

200 Roxette World related shows

As we mentioned it in our latest review, Sandra Knospe celebrated her 200th gig in Amsterdam 2 days ago. 200! What an impressive number! Hard to beat it except if you are member of the band or at least the crew. 😉 It’s not only Roxette, but also Marie and Per solo, as well as Gyllene Tider, but most of the shows she attended were Roxette gigs. She followed the band from South America to Australia, but being a German girl, she of course went to the most shows in Europe. And why I use past tense here I have no clue… she followed the band from here to there and she’ll never stop. Well, she was truly born to follow.

When Sandra enjoyed her 100th show she surely didn’t expect she would have such a special treatment 100 concerts later. The crew offered her to see the venue from a different perspective and showed her around the stage. Then on the concert the band mentioned her anniversary. What a night!

Here are Sandra’s thoughts about her 200th gig:

 

A Rox gig with a different perspective

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Pic by Sandra Knospe

Another day another concert. After Rox had played in the famous L’Olympia just the other night it was Amsterdam’s turn now. Approaching the venue at around 5pm I have to say I was surprised to see way less people queuing in front of it than usually. There were two entries, one for people who had bought the expensive Early Entrance tix and one for the remaining concert visitors. I expected to see more “hardcores” in any of the queues, but I guess some just decided to come late since it didn’t make sense to queue the whole day with a normal ticket and no big chances of front row anymore. And other Roxers probably have decided to skip the concert completely and boycott the EE ticket policy from Live Nation. So maybe one doesn’t need to wonder that it felt a bit different outside this time. And in a way it continued inside.

The entrance for EE ticket owners was around 6.15pm and the others followed shortly afterwards. I can’t really tell how the entry was outside, because a friend of mine and I were lucky enough to get to see the stage from the other side of the fence while the doors opened. That evening I celebrated my anniversary of 200 concerts including Rox, P&M solo and GT and a very kind person suggested that maybe it would be interesting for me to see the things from a different perspective. And it was!! I am very happy and extremely thankful that we got this little special treatment!!

After that my friend and I found our places in the front and we were eager to see the show. Some chit chat with people around us and then Eskobar started to play. As a fan who has seen a few shows you can already sense during the supporting act what mood the crowd is in and if they will get infected by the vibe and atmosphere on stage. At least to 90% you can guess that already before Rox enter the stage. And this time it felt as if it would be a bit of a tough job to get the crowd into it. And it turned out to be like that. Of course Rox got a warm welcome when they finally entered the stage and people surely clapped and sang along to the choruses of the oh so well known hits, but in between it felt a bit quiet and the enthusiasm was, well, let’s say limited compared to all other shows of this leg so far. But that only goes for the audience. On stage the glorious 7 had a top night. Marie delivering a great performance, Per bouncing, spinning and dancing around. Lyrics where they belonged. Only Per with a cock-eyed brain once, when singing this line twice in a row during “Crush on You”. And speaking of Per I have to take the opportunity to mention here that there is a noticeable change since this leg in the way Per interacts with the audience. There is much more contact with the people in the front rows than before. Keeping eye contact for more than just a millisecond and checking out the first few rows quite often is not that usual for him. It feels nice to see him being so relaxed and acting and reacting to the crowd in a more open way on stage. And it’s not just me who has noticed it. So whatever has happened that made him change this I hope he keeps it and I am sure all other Roxers hope that, too. Because it adds some extra kix to every gig.

The band was in top shape as well. What I really like a lot is that meanwhile the short dialogues on stage are alternating. It’s not always the same every night and it looks and sounds more spontaneous and not that practiced anymore. Really funny. They should keep that. It adds a lot to the atmosphere. And if not for the normal concert visitors then for sure for the hardcore Roxers. OK, I have to admit I am probably not very objective now since I got a little extra mentioning on stage that night. And THAT surely made my anniversary even more special!! So unexpected and freaking amazing. You simply have to love them all. Not only for the music. But before going into raptures now I’ll rather stick to the review.

I enjoyed the concert to the full and the energy and mood on stage made it exciting for me. So after the gig I was all smiles. The only question I’ve asked myself was “Would it have been different audience wise without EE tix?” I tend to say yes, because I think more hardcores would have shown up and been in front row, partying and jumping all the time. But with 150,-€ per ticket one simply has to cross out some shows when you have planned to see them more than just once during their tour. So I really hope that EE ticket policy won’t become a regular thing. But that’s just my personal impression. And even if most of the visitors weren’t physically active, the general opinion of the people who were standing next to me was positive. They all enjoyed the concert. The only thing some mentioned was the feeling that the concert was too short. Well, what can I say? Surely, I agree on that and all of us would love to get more than 17 songs on a gig, but nevertheless, we enjoyed what we’ve got to the max. So thanks for playing and cheers to the next 200!!

 

The audience could have been more active, but anyway, even if there is a standing still crowd, you can always be sure there is at least one person jumping in the front during the complete show. And it’s Sandra Knospe. Indeed, to the next 200, Sandra!

New Roxette material in 2015

The news regarding the BMI London Awards reached Musikindustrin.se. They asked Per about the gala, The Per Gessle Archives, his books and Roxette.

About the gala Per said it was a lighthearted event with the usual red carpet-walking and quick TV interviews where the subjects changed between Marie’s brain tumor and Miley Cyrus’s tongue. He tells the award for this year’s song, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky was well deserved. Getting 2 awards, one together with MP for more than 5 million plays of Listen To Your Heart and one for more than 5 million plays of It Must Have Been Love among other, much older songs with the same amount of airplays was good for the ego, Per says. But all other 5 million-air songs are fantastic.

Regarding the book fair in Gothenburg he says whenever he / they do an official appearance, The International Hardcore Fans always turn up.

It’s always nice, they are really wonderful supporters from around the world who are there for better or worse. So the book fair was a very happy event for me. Lots of people and good atmosphere.

And now some news for all those who don’t fancy the idea of another greatest hits album. Per confirms again:

Roxette has been in the studio and finished a bunch of singles that will be released next year. We also aim to put together a brand new album in 2015, but right now we are concentrating on the “XXX – The 30th Anniversary Tour” starting October 28 in Vladivostok. It ends, as it looks now, the summer of 2016. I believe my passport expires then.

roxette

 

Per Gessle at the Göteborg Book Fair – Chapter 2

The second day for Per at the book fair was yesterday. The seminar he took part in started at 1 pm, but fans were already waiting for him since 10 am. We were continuously filling the rows and listened to all the authors who came before Per. One of the writers was funny, he told he was the book fair support act for Mr G.

PG_IMG_9879Per arrived with Miss Dimberg and Anders Roos at about 1 pm. PG already got stopped by fans who asked him to give them autographs even before the seminar. When Per got to sit on the stage before the conversation, he was drumming on his legs and whistling. He refused to use the microphone which they could have fixed on his head, but used a standard microphone.

Many-many people were curious about Per, but the stage area was so small that a lot of people couldn’t sit down. The seminar ended appr. 10 minutes earlier than planned, probably because they saw the signing session would last longer for that many people.

Per’s interviewer was Jan Gradvall. They talked about songwriting, specific songs, as well as rhymes. He talked about his childhood room, what posters were on the walls (e.g. Hep Stars), there was a gramophone player and there were also some Barbie dolls. The family moved a lot and e.g. in 1968 they lived in Simlångsdalen. Per said his best friend was pop music. ”Tragical, but true.” Watch the short video of this part of the interview HERE.

They talked about how productive and busy Per is. He is doing many projects at a time, but when one ends, he feels like: ”Tack, nästa projekt.”, looking forward to the next project. The archives are just the summary of one chapter in his life.

After the seminar, there was a signing session next to the stage. There were so many people queueing with the Per Gessle books in their hands. Unfortunately, the last 5-6 people were asked to go to the other signing place, at the Roos & Tegnér stand, because they were running out of time and the signing at the stand had to start at 2.30 pm, but there Per really took his time and draw a great amount of Leifs in many books and boxes.

Ah, there was one new info during the interview: the Roxette rehearsals start this week. Bring on the tour!

Thanx for all your time and for the fabulous weekend, Mr G!

PG_JG_IMG_9864  PG_signing_IMG_9911  PG_signing_IMG_9958

Per with Jan Gradvall at the seminar; Per signing the books next to the stage at the seminar place; Per signing the books at the Roos & Tegnér stand

All pics in the article © Patrícia Peres

 

P.S.: Seeing this post of Per on Roxette Official after the happenings at the book fair, you could feel he had a bit of inspiration. Good luck with The Look 2! 😉

Feel like writing something like this today! /P.

Per Gessle at the Göteborg Book Fair – Chapter 1

As you already know, Per attended the book fair in Gothenburg today (26th September). Some fans were already there at the Roos & Tegnér (publishing company) stand to wait for him and buy the books before he arrived. When I arrived to the stand at about 2 pm and bought the Per Gessle books, one of the R&T guys, Christer asked me where I’m from. Told him I’m from Hungary, then he said with a big smile on his face: ”You know that… Ah, of course, you know…” Haha. Yes, it was quite evident I knew Per would sign the books at the stand at 3 pm. It was a lovely waiting time, meeting and chatting with familiar Roxer faces and having a little wine tasting. They offered us Per’s Fru Nordin white wine to taste. Benny Mårtensson, the designer of the PG books was also there. He did a great job, that’s for sure. Sven Lindström, Pär Wickholm and Jan Gradvall were there, too. It was first Nisse Hellberg who signed his book at the stand from 2 pm.

Per signing his books at the Roos & Tegnér stand
Per signing his books at the Roos & Tegnér stand

Mr G arrived to the stand with Miss Dimberg and Anders Roos (from the publishing company; photographer of the Alla tiders Gyllene Tider book) almost exactly at 3 pm. He took his place at the signing desk and started signing the books for those who were queueing. He was in a great mood, smiling all the time and joking with those who asked him if they could take a pic together or if he couldn’t understand the name of the one who asked him to sign the book. When I told him the books are awesome, he told they are cool and he could find only 5 mistakes in them. So, count them when you start reading, guys! 🙂 He also mentioned that there will be (a) Roxette concert(s) in Sweden most probably in summer, 2015. Sounds good for our souls.

The signing session lasted for about half an hour, then Per disappeared before getting on stage for the pop quiz seminar with Sven Lindström and Nisse Hellberg at 5 pm. The seminar was quite an entertaining one. They were talking about songwriting, lyrics, bands, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Sven prepared a tough quiz for the guys with pop songs from different eras. After listening to a short part of the songs, Per and Nisse had to say which song they heard, who’s song it was and from which year. You can imagine it was a tough quiz if even Per couldn’t tell all the details of each song. But of course, he doesn’t like to lose and he did his best to win. PG : NH – 6 : 2. When Sven forgot to give Per points, he was ”fighting” for those points. Lovely. He enjoyed the music so much he was even humming the tunes and ”dancing” with his head and legs. Watch it with your own eyes in THIS short video. The audience was also very helpful when The Lonely Boys couldn’t find out which song was heard. I can imagine Per going home after the book fair and checking all the songs he couldn’t recognize.

The quiz should have lasted until 5.45 pm, but everyone was having fun, so it ended almost at 6 pm. We could have enjoyed it for even more hours. After the seminar, Per and Nisse were signing their books outside the congress hall. Until then Åsa arrived as well. She looked wonderful and was very nice to all of us fans, as usual. The signing session lasted again for about 30 minutes and after that Per went ”backstage”. Probably, for an interview. Then Elvis left the building and so did we.

This guy always makes me feel like I had the best day of my life when I meet him. It happened today as well. Chapter 2 on Sunday!

PG_book_fair_20140926_02  PG_book_fair_20140926_03  PG_book_fair_20140926_04

Per, Sven and Nisse doing the pop quiz; Per at the seminar; Per signing his books after the seminar

All pics in the article © Patrícia Peres

 

Articles and stuff related to PG at the book fair:

Expressen
Expressen’s video
Vaja.se
op.se
Bokmässan photos on flickr

 

Q&A with Per at Live Nation – The answers!

roxetteloveAs we informed you some days ago, you could tweet your questions to Per on Live Nation Australia & New Zealand’s Twitter account. Per replied to 14 questions so far.

It’s not yet known if he continues to answer the remaining Qs or if new ones are coming, but we will keep our eyes open and let you know if he does so. Article will be updated then.

 

 

 

Q: – Per, how do you deliver a song like I’m Glad You Called? I mean clearly it was an emotional hell that break up!

Per: – There are of course bits & pieces of me in those lyrics. But I’m a writer, I make things up.

 

Q: – Per is there any song from a previous album that you regret not choosing as a single?

Per: – LS, Joyride & CBB had lots of potentials. Sleeping single. Paint. WSL? & more. Tough competition.

 

Q: – What makes a crowd exceptional to you?

Per: – Every crowd is great. Rox-fans are glowing with positive energy. How could you not love that?

 

Q: – Hello! Will Roxette be re-releasing any rare songs like “I Want You” in the near future?

Per: – Not IWY. It was made with other artists & belongs to another rec. company. But other fun stuff might pop up.

 

Q: – 24 years wondering what will be the perfume that he uses? Time flies.

Per: – Perfume is good for you. I change a bit. Bottega Veneta got some nice ones for guys like me.

 

Q: – U talked about re-release old roxette’s vhs and DVDs. It will happen? When?! Looks promising!

Per: – Hope so. Everything is kinda upside down at the moment with the EMI/Warner-merger. One of these years.

 

Q: – Can you please do that epic mashup of ‘crash boom bang’/’anyone’ again please?

Per: – Yea, that was cool. No promises though…

 

Q: – Are there songs that are tricky to do live? Have u ever tried 1 that u couldn’t make work live? If so, which?

Per: – Most early ones are tricky because they were made for the studio, not necessarily to be played live… You have to re-think some songs to make them work live w/ a band w/o using computers & other devices.

 

Q: – Can we expect high-tech lighting or any mind blowing, dramatic stage production changes in 2015?

Per: – Cirque de Soleil here we come!

 

Q: – When you tour do you find it hard to adjust to the different timezones?

Per: – No, it’s fine. As long as you get some sleep you’ll adjust pretty easy.

 

Q: – Per! Do you plan to tour for many more years? Will Roxette be neverending?

Per: – Yes, both Marie and myself love to tour and perform so I’m pretty sure we will continue.

 

Q: – Do you ever see photos uploaded to social media of yourself with fans and wish you could have a retake?

Per: – Every day!!!

 

Q: – So glad you are coming back to Oz! Can we expect some surprises like maybe some unreleased songs in your shows?

Per: – We start rehearsing in September so until then I don’t know. But we’ll try out some different stuff for sure.

 

Q: – Per, what out of all the Roxette albums is your favourite one?

Per: – LS! is cool because it just came down from the sky. It was created without fame, fortune & expectations.

 

Some more answers were added on 25th June:

Q: – Does it blow your mind that there are so many hard-core fans in distant lands (New Zee) after all these years?

Per: – Yes, never take it for granted.This biz eats acts for bfast=to have global fans after all these years is fab!

 

Q: – Tell me your favorite Roxette lyrics, the ones that mean the most. I need ideas for a tattoo!!!

Per: – I’m living in a box but I’m out when opportunity nox!

 

Q: – G’day from Oz Per! With all your frequent F.L.Y.I.N.G, have you ever thought of buying your own private Jet?

Per: – Hahaha. Good one. Of course. Per Air!

 

Q: – When you sit down to write, do you write both melody & lyrics or does one come first (usually)?

Per: – Both work for me. I usually start with music but sometimes a phrase or an idea for a title makes me tick.

 

Q: – What is the biggest advantage of playing live? Are there also disadvantages?

Per: – Live = very different from being in the studio. All songs are written for the studio so you have to make them work live, which can be tuff.

 

Q: – Per, what song took the longest to piece together (vocals, music etc)?

Per: – Most of In My Own Way was written in 84 but only finished in 2010. Very unusual=I’m fast when writing.

 

Q: – Per do you like the You don´t want love production? You think in the next Rox album will inc a song like this?

Per: – I really enjoy some EDM music. Definitely you’ll hear those influences in the future. But in our special way.

 

Smooth entrance during the Roxette tour? Vote now!

roxette_goes_on_tour_2014The fact that Roxette goes on tour at the end of this year made all Roxers incredibly happy. There were rumours about it since long, but the time to announce some dates had just come last week. And the list of tour dates will be longer than just those 13 shows in Russia, Estonia and Lithuania, that’s for sure.

It might sound insane (oh no, it IS insane), but yes, discussions about queuing in front of venues and how to get to the front row already started… We are used to waiting tremendous amount of hours in front of venues and tons of us are used to run-run-run to the front row after the entrance is open. It’s really funny to read conversations on Facebook already now about how to organize the entrance by the fans themselves. We are fond of the numbering system, but what could we do with it, if there is no control over the lining up and when the doors are open, everyone is just running like hell? Should we ask local Roxers to be there at the venue early and ask the security guys to let us in some minutes earlier than the rest of the crowd? Or should we contact the local security team some days before the concert actually takes place? But they might not be used to any systems like this, so they wouldn’t care about the fans too much. What should we do then? I admit it: this is crazy to discuss it this early! And it’s half a year before the tour starts… We’re getting more and more fanatic it seems. 😉 At the same time, if something is going to be decided officially by the organizers, it needs a lot of time and negotiations to organize everything in advance for the whole tour. Wishful thinking it might be.

 

Atli (Show Security Sweden) at a Gyllene Tider concert in 2013
Atli (Show Security Sweden) at a Gyllene Tider concert in 2013

Since last year’s Gyllene Tider tour, where we experienced how calmed down and smooth the entrance could be if a well-prepared and cooperating security team is in charge, there is no discussion among Roxers about such things without mentioning Show Security Sweden. You might remember our article about them. The team did an outstanding job during the whole tour in Sweden, even at the biggest venue with the biggest crowd (Ullevi, Gothenburg). They paid attention to the numbering system, took control over the lining up and let us in only some minutes before the normal entrance. No running, no danger, no being nervous, just a smooth walk to the stage. Of course, they needed cooperating fans, but when you can see they absolutely know what they are doing and are fully in charge, plus their aim is the same as ours: to have a great concert experience without any troubles, then you can only wish they or a company with the same targets would be in charge at all of the future shows we attend. It was already nice to see them at Marie’s Stockholm concert. Why not having such system on Roxette’s tour? We know it’s almost impossible and maybe not the most effective to bring so many security guys from Sweden to all over the world, but maybe it would be enough to have a great team of supervisors like Atli or Malin, who can coordinate the local security teams. If I’m right, it was the same at the GT shows. We saw different faces among the security guys, so they surely worked together with local teams in different cities of Sweden. And it worked amazingly well.

 

We know it’s not our business who is chosen as security company, but it would be great if Live Nation would consider the possibility of implementing this working numbering system or something similar on the upcoming Roxette tour to make the entrance more secure and smooth and this way, the concert experience even better for both the band and the fans. Because as Micke Syd mentioned in the interview Judith did with him during the tour last year:

I think it’s just making the concert experience a lot better. We feel it too if you have been queuing for hours and then you are frustrated because of all the stress to get to the front row. If you are relieved of all that you can just relax and enjoy. And then we also have more fun.

So, how about a poll? Let your voice be heard and vote below! We are curious about your opinion. Voting is anonymous.

Would you like Management / Live Nation & a security team to organize a smooth entrance during the upcoming Roxette tour?

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After you voted, you can share the poll on Facebook or on Twitter by one click to the share button below, so even more Roxers could vote and share their opinion. Thanx for your help in advance!

The RoxBlog Team

Fan book – a ”thank you” present for Marie

Astrid Lenhard, one of the die hard Roxers had the idea of making a book for Marie. A bit more than a month ago she asked fans to send her one page designed by themselves if they want to join in. The idea sounded awesome! Many fans decided to create their own page, saying thank you to Marie, writing some lines, including pictures of themselves or even with Marie. Astrid created the design of the book itself and besides summarizing the idea, also saying thanks to Ms Effe and including the list of fans who joined, she designed a beautiful cover. ”Vad vore vi utan dig” (= ”What would we be without you”). Exactly. What would we be without our beloved Marie?

Astrid had the plan to hand it over to Marie in Luleå or Umeå. And she succeeded in it. In Umeå she met Marie before the last concert during the tour and had the chance to give her the book. Marie was very happy about it and liked it a lot.

Vad_vore_vi_utan_dig          Astrid_and_Marie

Cover of the book © Astrid Lenhard                        Astrid handing over the book to Marie © Astrid Lenhard

 

Astrid also put together a wonderful video where you can see how the book looks like, page by page. Thank you very much again for the fab idea, Astrid!

 

A fan’s special thank you to Marie Fredriksson

Manuel Terrón Browa is a long-time fan of Roxette and Marie Fredriksson. He has been teasing us, Roxers since some weeks that today, 14th February something special is coming from him. There was even a very nice teaser video saying: ”Sometimes all you need to say is thank you.” So we could be kind of sure it was going to be a a thank you video to Marie.

Now it’s out and we can see Manuel made a beautiful short film in which he says thank you to Ms Effe. Marie is his inspiration and he wanted to express his feelings via this artistic video. The most touching part starts at 03:13. Look at Marie and Manuel, how lovely their meeting was and listen to the wonderful words Marie tells him. Awesomeness!

Manuel says this video is his ”gift for Marie and all the people who are able to live in the moment and believe in the good in life”. CLICK HERE or on the picture to watch it!

Manuel_MF_thank_you

Here are Manuel’s words to the video:

We all experience music in our very own ways. This movie was made out of pure appreciation. To share this film with people who love music and who live their passion is very special to me.

The clips used in this video were shot in New York, Berlin, Osnabrück, Rotterdam, Bretagne, Moscow, St. Petersburg, on the road, in cities, in nature, in concerts. All recordings are my own and were taken throughout several years.

Additional video footage was filmed by the same guy who edited this film. Thank you, Mr. Friedrichs.

A very special thanks goes out to Yana, who filmed a very special moment in my live.

A lot of the footage is very personal and meaningful to me. Maybe you are able to feel it.

I’m looking forward to Marie Fedriksson’s tour and meeting a lot of people again at those concerts.

With love,
Manuel

 

Film by: Manuel Terrón Browa

B-Roll, Sound & Editing: Stefan Friedrichs

Creative Assistant: Larissa Schacht